With us rock bottom of the table after suffering our worst start to a league season since 1898, it’s fair to say something needs to change at Newcastle United.
One thing is for certain – sacking Rafa Benitez is NOT the answer in all of this, meaning Ashley is left with two options.
Option 1 – Invest in January
Option 2 – Reduce your asking price and sell up NOW so someone can invest in the new year.
Option one would seem like the obvious solution for you everyday owner, but Ashley is far from that as we know. He clearly has no interest in spending money on the club until it becomes essential – and it feels like we’re reaching that stage.
If he fails to spend, I struggle to see this Newcastle side staying up. Benitez is a top manager, but he can only be a miracle worker for so long – especially when he is now dealing with a club and team that has lost all of the momentum it had this time last year.
There’s no longer that buzz of Benitez being our manager (he’s due to leave next summer as it stands), we’re no longer that newly promoted club trying to prove people wrong and no exciting new signings arrived to give the players, the fans or Benitez that boost – with us STILL without a proven goalscorer. A boost is needed, and without option 1 or option 2 occurring, we won’t get that.
Why is this such a big decision and perhaps the biggest one he’s been faced with since taking over you may ask. Well, if nothing changes and we go down, Benitez will be off in the summer and we’ll be a Championship club with no hope and no assets (as star players Lascelles, Shelvey etc. would all almost certainly leave this time around). We would be in one almighty mess and the protests and mass exodus at NUFC (both on the pitch and in the stands) would be like we’ve never seen before.
The hope has always been that we’re taken over before Benitez’s contract expires over the summer. So, either Ashley invests in January to keep us up and keep us an attractive proposition to buyers, or he reduces his asking price to a realistic amount and sells up for good.
Yes potential new owners would be wary of taking over a club that’s currently sitting in the bottom three, but I’m sure someone would take a chance on us IF they had the power to invest in January.